Why the Liberals Hate Us?

The predominant bias in Western media, that includes Europe, the UK and the US, is a liberal anti-colonialist view that also excoriates Israel at every turn. Their memories are  short, they forget that after the Holocaust of Jews in Europe during  WWII the predominant liberal sympathy lay with the Jews who were revolting against British imperial occupation, known as the Palestine Mandate.  This was given to the British Government by the League of Nations to establish a Jewish Homeland in Palestine.  At that time, from 1945 to the 1950’s, sympathy lay with the Jews fighting for their sovereign rights.  The Palestinian Arabs were hardly heard of, they were simply part of the Arab empire that stretched from Jordan to Iraq and from Syria to Yemen.

There are several reasons one can cite to explain the gradual shift of liberal and left opinion away from sympathy for Israel to the so-called Palestinian Arabs;

  1. The Jews won. Unexpectedly against great odds, the Jews in Palestine (starting at ca. 650,000 in 1948) defeated the armies of the surrounding Arab States (that did not recognize an Arab Palestine).  Israel continued to win in the wars against them by various combinations of Arab States in every decade (1958, The Suez Campaign; 1967, The Six Day War; 1973, The Yom Kippur War; 1982, The Lebanon War; 1999, the First Intifada; 2006, the Second Intifada).  Liberals have a natural tendency to support the losers, and the left prefer the poor downtrodden underdogs.  Once the Jews in Palestine stopped conforming to this loser category, they lost liberal support.  However, in the US, that prefers winners, Israel maintained a higher level of support.
  2. The reversal of reality.  According to the Arab/Palestinian narrative, the Arabs are the indigenous people and the Jews are modern colonialist interlopers, and this is a view accepted as gospel by most western liberal/leftists.  But, in reality this is mere propaganda, as even a cursory glance at the actual history will tell anyone who is interesting in the truth.  It is common knowledge that the Jews were here thousands of years ago and they lost their sovereignty to the Romans in 55 bce.  Empire after Empire conquered the Land, the Arabs in 639 ce, the Turks in 1516 ce, the British in 1917 ce.  But, finally, after suffering immense losses at the hands of the Europeans (the Germans, and their many allies) and being double-crossed by the duplicitous British Empire that sought to keep the Land for itself, the indigenous Jews finally returned and reclaimed their Land.
  3. Zionism is racism. Liberals readily dismiss Zionism as racist.  They completely ignore the fact that the Israeli declaration of Independence and the Basic Laws of Israel give every minority, including Arabs, equal rights as citizens.  Now no State is perfect, there is certainly worse discrimination in many countries that claim to be democratic, including the US, but Israel is actually a working and stable liberal democracy.  If you don’t believe me come and see for yourself, take a holiday trip and look around, you might be surprised that your preconceptions are mistaken.
  4. The Orthodox are fundamentalists. It is true that the Orthodox exercise political power in Israel, but Israel was founded by secular/socialist Jewish Zionists, and the religious Orthodox mostly came later.  Anyway, in a democracy they have as much right to organize politically and vote for their own candidates as anyone else.  If the left is against fundamentalism then why don’t they condemn the murderous Islamic fundamentalists, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, that seek to destroy Israel.
  5. Anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.  The liberal/left claim they are purely anti-Zionist, not anti-Semitic.  This claim rings hollow in Jewish ears, we’ve heard nonsense like this before.  Why is it that liberals and leftists who generally support the rights of ethnic minorities, such as the Palestinians, find it impossible to support such a right for the Jews?  Why are the Jews the only group in the world denied such a fundamental right by co-called liberals.  This particular animosity towards Jewish sovereignty is clearly anti-Semitic.  Although liberals claim they are anti-racist, they accept statements against Jews that would never be allowed against Blacks or other minorities.  This is anti-Semitism, and it cannot be tolerated after the way the Jews have been treated by Western “civilization.”

 

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Foreign WWII Movies

I have recently seen three movies about WWII each from a different European country, Norway,  Holland and Poland.  Each of these tells a story about WWII that was hitherto not well-known and that in a way glorifies the role of these countries in the War.

The movie from Norway is entitled “The Twelth Man” and tells the true story of Jan Baalsrud who together with a group of 11 other British-trained Norwegian commandos attempts to infiltrate into occupied Norway to carry out sabotage against the Germans.  Things go wrong from the start, their contact does not arrive and they are betrayed to the Germans, who ambush their boat.  In order to prevent the Germans capturing their supplies they blow up the boat, and the rest are captured, but only Baalsrud escapes and although wounded in the leg manages to swim in freezing cold water across the fjord.  He is found by a local couple who hide him and treat his wound and pass him on to the resistance, who arrange a series of contacts for him to cross the width of Norway to reach neutral Sweden.  His men are tortured and executed by the Germans. But, the leading Nazi Gestapo officer in charge eventually realizes one has escaped, and the rest of the movie consists of the race between Baalsrud to reach Sweden and the SS officer’s attempt to prevent him.  This becomes a national cause and many risk their lives to ensure that Baalsrud reaches Sweden.  This is seen as a blow to the prestige and credibility of the German forces.

The movie from Holland is “The Resistance Banker.” and also tells a true story of Wally van Hall and his brother Gijsberg, who were both bankers, and in 1942 in German-occupied Amsterdam were asked to help find funds to support the resistance.  They realize that the problem is greater than just funds and they initiate an underground banking system that parallels that of the official bank. Under the noses of the Germans and their Dutch collaborators, they pull off an amazing subterfuge, whereby they not only start a secret banking system, but keep accurate notes of all money transfers, fake the printing of millions of guilders of shares, support the railway men in their extended strike against the Germans and provide funds for the resistance to buy weapons.  The Gestapo are of course after them and eventually through capturing some individuals they find out who is the mysterious individual who is somehow funding the resistance against them.  This is an excellent movie, with real life suffering, suspense and heroes.

The story of the Polish pilots who flew for the RAF during WWII is told in the movie “Hurricanes,” being the name of the British fighter plane the pilots flew in their attacks on the invading Luftwaffe.  At first, the British are perhaps understandably suspicious of these Polish pilots, who arrived from Europe after the Fall of Poland and France.  It takes several stages of development before they realize that it is not merely bravado when they say they don’t need to be “trained” by the British.  The Poles are in fact more experienced than the British pilots.  Over time, the Poles amassed the highest score of German planes downed in the Battle of Britain by any squadron in the RAF.  A majority of the Polish pilots who flew in the RAF were killed while fighting, and they helped thwart the invasion of Britain that Hitler had carefully planned.  Their role was undervalued and under-appreciated.  Unfortunately, many of the survivors were returned to Poland after the War in an agreement with Stalin, where most of them were imprisoned and murdered.

 

 

Nafta is now USMCA

On the deadline, Pres. Trump signed a new deal to replace NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, with a replacement, USMCA, the US, Mexico and Canada Agreement.  Since the PM of Canada and the Pres of Mexico also signed it, it must also be good for them.  According to Pres. Trump, this new agreement protects US trade more than NAFTA did.  In fact, since the US economy is booming, as Pres. Trump has argued, it is a privilege for each of these countries, and many others, including China and the EU, to have beneficial trade agreements with the US.

Recently at a dinner someone expressed the view that Trump’s initiation of “trade wars” could result in disaster for the American economy.  My immediate reaction was “bullshit.” Why?

Because the US economy is booming and as this new USMCA deal shows, every deal made in the past can be improved by doing something other Presidents did not do, namely put American interests first. NAFTA was conceived by Pres. Clinton not so much to help the American economy and workers, but to help Mexico and to a lesser extent Canada to develop economically and to protect their financial interests.  It was a magnanimous approach by past liberal Presidents, in the full knowledge that US jobs and companies would move to those countries.

Also, agreements with the EU and China were arrived at when the other side maintained tariffs against American goods, such as cars in Europe, while the US was not allowed to have such tariffs.  It is Trump’s unique combination of bluster and hard-headedness when it comes to economic policy that he insists on a level playing field for the US in all such trade deals.  And he is right.

So the question is, after the fact, how does one try to get a level playing field, how can one force the EU and China, the US’s two main trading partners, to change past policies that benefit them and not the US.  The only way is to challenge past agreements and put economic pressure on them.  In other words, what some like to call a “trade war”, to establish tariffs against their goods, just as they have maintained against the US.  Of course, they don’t like this, so they respond in kind.

But, Trump is correct, the US has a far stronger economy that any other country, and they all need to trade with the US more than the US needs them.  So the likelihood is that in any such “war” they will cave first.  It is not guaranteed, but since we are talking basically about economic interests, it makes sense since they have more to lose than the US.  So the Trump rubric is that the other partner will cave first, as happened with Canada and Mexico, and then we will have real trade agreements in which both sides are treated equally.  That will be good for the US economy and for all Americans.

 

The Origins of Israel

Those Western liberals and leftists who accept the Palestinian narrative, that the Jews established Israel by “stealing” their lands, are being sold a simplistic view of history.  It is necessary to go back before the Israeli War of independence of 1948 to understand the true origins of Israel.

After WWI in various conferences, at Versailles, Locarno and Sevres, various treaties were negotiated by the victorious allied powers that redrew the borders of Europe and the Middle East.  For example, Italy was given the German-speaking Southern Tyrol that had been part of Austria.  But, US President Wilson was intent on making sure that areas of the defeated Turkish Empire would not be gobbled up by other imperial powers, specifically France and Britain. This was in fact the liberal, anti-imperialist view.  It is not generally known that Wilson also refused American Mandates for either Turkey or Armenia in order not be become embroiled in ancient territorial conflicts.

A French diplomat came up with the idea of “mandates” to satisfy Wilson.  These would be areas under British or French control, but that were designated to be eventually transferred to the self-government of the local peoples.  So for example, in 1922 the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) gave France a Mandate over Syria, and Britain Mandates over Mesopotamia and Palestine.  It was explicitly stated that Syria and Mesopotamia (Iraq) were to be Arab states and Palestine was to be a Jewish “homeland.”  But France reneged at first on allowing Syrian Arab home rule and they also unilaterally created Lebanon, to protect the Christians.  Although the Palestine Mandate said nothing about an Arab State, Britain unilaterally established Transjordan (later Jordan) and later in 1938, stopped allowing Jewish immigration to Palestine as required by the Mandate.

So if we look at the facts, it was Pres. Wilson who insisted that Britain not incorporate Palestine into its Empire, but was to hold it for some time until the Jews were able to become self-governing and sovereign.  It was indefensible that Britain prevented Jewish emigration from Europe into Palestine just when Nazi Germany started its program of persecution and genocide against the Jews.

After WWII it was not the Arabs but the Jews of Palestine (at that time numbering ca. 650,000) who fought and defeated the British Empire and forced them to turn the Palestine problem over to the UN.  After many debates, the UN proposed a Partition Plan in 1947 to separate what was left of Mandatory Palestine into two States, Jewish and Arab,  The Jews accepted and established Israel, but the Arabs rejected the Plan and attacked.  It is important to note that none of the belligerent Arab States (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia) had any plans to establish a Palestinian Arab State at that time, they intended to capture Palestine for themselves (replacing the British).

It was only because Israel defeated these Arab States time and time again in their attempts to conquer the Land that they eventually gave up and the problem became a  Palestinian Arab problem.  So actually it was only after the defeats of the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, that the Palestinian narrative was born and twisted into an anti-colonialist leftist story.   If you don’t believe me consult a reputable independent history book.  I don’t expect anyone to be pro-Israel, but I do expect people to be honest and base their views of what actually happened, not on some simplistic propagandistic slogans.

Russia in Syria

The situation in Syria became increasingly complex in the past week, because of the accidental downing of a Russian Ilyushin transport plane by a Syrian missile,   The missile was intended for an Israeli fighter plane that was at that point attacking a Syrian-Iranian weapons cache near Latakia, where there is a major Russian naval base.  Fifteen Russian personnel were killed in the incident, which the Russians of course blamed on Israel.   They could hardly blame it on their own allies, even though Israel gave them clear evidence that the Syrian missile was at fault.  Pres. Putin claimed that the Israeli jet was somehow hiding behind the Russian plane, but that is essentially impossible, since the Ilyushin was much slower moving than the jet fighter and it was probably this that led to the Syrian mistake.

Nevertheless, Putin used this incident to increase Russian penetration into Syria.  Although Russia has for years held off providing Syria with a modern Russian missile defense system, he used the Ilyushin downing as an excuse to supply Syria with an S-300 surface to air missile system.  This will make Israel’s job of over-flying Syria more difficult in order to prevent the delivery of advanced Iranian weapons systems into Syria and the entrenchment of Iranian forces within Syria with the intention of establishing a direct front in its intended war against Israel.

What is perhaps most troubling is that there has been a good relationship between Pres. Putin and PM Netanyahu and some communication/warning system between their respective air forces.  But, it didn’t work in this case, perhaps because Israel suspects that the Russians would warn their Syrian allies of any attack.  So that leaves the potential of a clash between the IAF and the Russian air force as an even greater possibility.  Also the US has its planes active over Syria, particularly in the eastern region where it supports the Kurds and allied forces in their war against the Islamic State.  Since that war is almost over, there is a danger that Pres. Trump could decide to pull US forces out of Syria.  That would be a big mistake since it would leave Russia in almost complete control of Syria, from which it could allow the Iranians to play havoc with Middle Eastern peace.

Senator Flakey

In one of the most ridiculous incidents I have ever seen, a woman demonstrator stopped the elevator for senators in the Congress and subjected Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona to a diatribe against the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court Judge.  Not only had she no right to do this, but the Capitol police, who were there, did nothing to stop her.  This is “political correctness” taken to its extreme.   But, what is even more incredible, was that Flake continued to listen to her and allow her to shout at him without any response and later changed his vote because of this incident.

Whatever the merits of the case, what happened to due process, is the mob going to rule, to determine how US democracy works, are Senators (without a spine) going to be intimidated by the person who screams the loudest?  And what about security, surely it is illegal for demonstrators to be able to waylay Senators and hold their elevator, what if she had a weapon and didn’t like his response?

In any case, Sen. Flake(y), a key Republican vote on the Committee, who had announced he would vote to approve Kavanaugh, decided to organize a group of moderate Republicans to push for an FBI probe of the issue regarding Judge Kavanaugh.  It seems to me that some sophomoric act, if it occurred, 37 years ago, should not be the linchpin of the decision to appoint.  Further, whatever happened to “innocent before proven guilty” as far as the Democrats and the politically correct are concerned, it is now guilty until proven innocent.  This is a clear case of character assassination, with unproven and unprovable accusations.

As a result of Flake’s turnaround, Pres. Trump ordered an FBI probe into the issue, but it is clear at the outset that there is no forensic evidence, it comes down to she said/he said.  As a compromise, the probe will take only one week.  I doubt that it will resolve anything and the Democrats will continue on their merry way, ignoring due process and the finer details of decorum to make political points.

Netanyahu’s “show and tell”

PM Netanyahu gave his speech at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, and as usual he had something up his sleeve.  He may not be the favorite speaker at the UN GA, but he is certainly the most entertaining.  Each year he comes up with some new disclosure in the form of a graph or a picture.  In this speech he showed a photograph with the title “Iran’s secret atomic warehouse,” and disclosed that Iran had this secret warehouse, unknown to the IAEA, where it was storing the products of its secret nuclear weapons program.  He also gave the exact location in Tehran.

He pointed out that according to the Iran nuclear agreement,  Iran is supposed to reveal all its nuclear facilities but has not done so.  And he added that even as he was speaking Iran was moving its nuclear products from this warehouse to other sites around the country.  He excoriated the IAEA for not doing its job, for not trying to find where Iran is storing its enriched nuclear products and he urged them to immediately follow up and inspect this facility before it is too late.

Since Israeli agents brilliantly removed the entire contents of a classified Iranian nuclear archive, the Iranians have been trying to move all their nuclear materials.  But, Netanyahu claimed he caught them in the act, and Israel “knows what you are doing and where you are doing it.”  Many people criticize Netanyahu for various political reasons, but there is no doubt that he commands the attention of the world when he gives his characteristically novel speeches at the UN.